ABOUT SUNSTONE CHAPEL
I'm Ebony, the founder of Sunstone Chapel. I'm so glad you're here.
Qualifications and Experience:
Masters of Arts in Leadership Studies
Masters of Science in Strategic Human Resources and Organization Development
Bachelors of Arts in Sociology
Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
Clinical Sociologist and college instructor
Recipient of The Charles Billings Prize in Preaching
Former Chief Learning Officer in the Federal Government
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Strategist
Executive Director at Innovative Spirit
"The title of your sermon aligned with my emotions in the wake of the leaked Supreme Court (probable) decision, and I found it very insightful and moving. Certainly, I had often heard sermons about Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation but none with the urgency of this moment, or the broader point of view you gave. Thank you."
First Unitarian, Portland
A DEEPER DIVE INTO EBONY'S QUALIFICATIONS
Life-long Connection with liberal faith communities as a Unitarian Universalist:
I am not a late-in-life Unitarian Universalist convert. I grew up at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring where my father joined December 6, 1987, when I was 4 years old. I was also married there and continue to maintain my connection with the community. Currently I am a member of Paint Branch UU Church (PBUUC).
8th Principle Leadership:
I bring anti-racism and anti-oppression expertise to the table. I have been a dedicated student in the 8th Principle Learning Community since December 2019. Since then, I have attended Jubilee and New Day Rising anti-racism trainings. I am an advocate for the 8th Principle at Paint Branch UU where I’ve taught Adult Faith Development Classes and given sermons on 8th Principle topics. I led the strategy of the successful passing of the principle at the congregation.
You can be sure of an insightful and moving sermon and transformative worship service. I am an Award-winning preacher as affirmed by Meadville Lombard Theological School. In 2022, I was the recipient of The Charles Billings Prize in Preaching, which is given to one graduating student a year for excellence in preaching.
Bring Diversity to the Pulpit:
I bring my sociological perspective and lived experience as pansexual millennial, Black woman. As a clinical sociologist with a certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace and work experience in inclusive workplace culture, I bring radical welcome and anti-oppression to the forefront from the lens of spiritual leadership. Prior to seminary, I supported diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility strategies within the federal government. I am a 2021 recipient of the UU Federation of Women Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship Unitarian Universalist faith leaders, aspirants or ministerial candidates who identify as BIPOC women.
Expert Facilitating Instructor:
I’m a professor, serving as adjunct faculty in sociology at a college in Maryland. Prior to this I taught for 5 years at two other institutes of higher education in their general education and business departments. I began learning formal facilitation skills in 2004 while attending Johns Hopkins University where I earned a Master of Science in Strategic Human Resources and Organizational Development. I help facilitate career development through a spiritual career direction program offered through Innovative Spirit. I have also completed the UUA Adult Faith Formation Renaissance Module in 2022. I am a trained facilitator of the SACReD (Spiritual Alliance of Communities for Reproductive Dignity) curriculum where I support faith-based culture change to empower congregations to become loving, justice-seeking faith communities that fully support the fulfillment of reproductive moral agency and flourishing for all. Additionally, I am available for Young Adult and Adult Our Whole Lives (OWL) facilitation. Our Whole Lives is a lifespan sexuality education curriculum that helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, sexual health and behavior.
I’m a Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) with over 18 years of expertise in organizational effectiveness, overseeing learning strategy, and change management. Through Innovative Spirit I offer human resources support for small liberal faith communities. I have also hired, fired, supervised others, participated in employment hearings, and served as a career services consultant. I am also a former Chief Learning Officer where I oversaw employee and leadership development for over 3,000 federal employees. I bring this knowledge with me while facilitating congregational staff training.
Lay and Spiritual Leadership:
I’ve served in various lay leadership roles, and I bring this perspective to lay leadership development. I have served on the board of trustees, multigenerational religious experience committee, as a YRUU youth advisor, worship associate, and diversity and anti-racism task force co-chair, and coffee committee. I have facilitated sessions and served as opening speaker for a UU women’s retreat. Additionally, I’ve created, participated in, and managed various leadership programs during my time as a federal employee. I have contributed a poem and reading to two Skinner House Books anthologies: the 2021 inSpirit “Shelter in Place” and the BLUU Meditation Manual. I completed my seminary internship at All Souls Church Unitarian in Washington, D.C. as their first A. Powell Davies intern where I focused on adult spiritual development, social justice, and worship arts. I am also a member of The Unitarian Universalist Society for Community Ministries (UUSCM). Finally, I earned a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies from Meadville Lombard Theological School.
When you book me for my latest tour or for an enrichment residency, I have original, prerecorded contemporary liberal faith music (videos) I can offer for worship and other events. Since I own the music, it saves time in securing permissions and provides a unique musical experience that relates to the theme.
THE MEANING OF SUNSTONE CHAPEL
Sunstone Chapel is named after the sunstone mineral.
The stone is traditionally representative of leadership, compassion, generosity, independence, vitality, and originality. Sunstone supports our spirits and bodies by heightening our intuition, instilling an easygoing and good-natured disposition, and alleviating fearfulness and stress. I covenant to do the same for UU and liberal faith communities I’m invited to work with. Four sunstones are imbedded into the chalice in my logo.